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There seems to be no good reason why the 1914 Phillies could only win 74 games and finish in 6th place. Run production and runs allowed were similar to 1913 when they finished 2nd. They once again led the league in homeruns – Sherry Magee (103) and Gavvy Cravath (100) were 1-2 in RBIs. Beals Becker (.325) was second to Brooklyn’s Jake Daubert (.329) in batting average. Pete Alexander (27-15, 6 shutouts) pitched in 355 innings to lead the league. Erskine Mayer won 21 games (and lost 19). Eppa Rixey (2-11) was awful. The team was good when they played at home – 48-30 (377 runs scored), but they were dreamily dreadful on the road – 26-50 (274 runs scored).
It is tempting to blame the slippage on the newly operating Federal League. The Phillies lost 41 games in the win column when Tom Seaton (27-12) and Ad Brennan (14-12) jumped to the new league. In 1914 Seaton was 25-14 for the 5th place Brooklyn Tip Tops, and Brennan was 5-5 with the 2nd place Chicago Whales.
In baseball history, 1914 will always be remembered as the year the Boston Braves, 5th in 1913, reprised the Beaneater success of earlier years, and made a heroic late season charge to wipe out the opposition and win the pennant going away. In August and September, the Braves were 45-11, gaining 19 games on John McGraw’s 2nd place Giants (28-32). It was called a miracle, and was led by the seemingly mellowed manager George Stallings, the same guy who was booted out of Philadelphia at the end of the 19th century because he couldn’t relate to his players.
Stallings and the Braves carried the magic into the World’s Series where they pulled off the first World’s Series sweep, downing Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s. On Christmas eve, the Phillies traded Sherry Magee to the Braves for a lump of coal, an Oscar (Dugey), and a Possum (Whitted). In Boston, it was seen as another miracle.By max blue